||PROPELLER ISLAND'S MODIFIED PIANOS
(Akai CD-ROM + compatible, disc 2)
On the second disc, PROPELLER ISLAND'S MODIFIED PIANOS, electronic modifications
were applied retrospectively to recordings of a superb Steinway grand piano,
using many different effect devices and computer processing. As the original
mechanical piano treatments were devised a long time before computers developed
their current unlimited capacity, it seemed logical to use today's technology
to carry the idea on. The electronic preparations of the MODIFIED PIANOS
were done in the same painstaking way as the old prepared pianos, note
by note! On disc 2, you will find unique sounds, and the strangest of sound
effects for all styles of music, film & TV soundtracks and radio plays.
Some sounds are ideal for layering with modern keyboards, others bring
to mind electric guitars, and some you will never believe could be a piano!
You may be wondering why some of the samples have effects such as spring
reverb added - after all, such units are common in studios, so the effect
could easily be added later. The answer is that these built-in effects
begin to come into their own when you use the sounds in a different way
from standard piano samples. For example, if you transpose the samples
an octave down, the sampled effect is is also transposed; a small room
turns into a large hall, and the speed of all modulations is halved. Similarly,
transposed harmonizer effects produce heavy, weird aliasings. (As you will
have gathered, we at Propeller Island enjoy this kind of thing.) Last but
not least, it leaves your effect devices free to do something else! With
each note modified separately, you will discover a unique quality of sound,
especially with the stereo samples. Just one note on these effect pianos
can create a highly original musical atmosphere, which will be useful to
composers of film soundtracks. It could be the inspiration you didn't know
you were looking for!
The original piano (mis)used for all the samples was a 2.10m Steinway
model C, recorded in the Berlin Academy of Arts through a Neve desk using
a combination of Neumann, Bruehl and Kjer microphones (culminating in 10
hours of single notes on tape).
There are no loops on the CD-ROMs. All sounds were carefully faded to
keep memory consumption to a maximum of 32 MB per instrument - there are
many 'smaller' pianos too. You will also find mono configurations and instruments
with reduced keyboard ranges for samplers with less memory.
Please enjoy the sounds and justify the hundreds of hours of work it
took to create them!
Sound design, programming and production by Lars Stroschen for PROPELLER